Rat in a Cage

Another busy week!  Up to day 16 and feeling really happy about it.  I had an urge on Wednesday to stop and get wine.

Wednesdays can be tough.  My oldest has lifeguard lessons in a city almost an hour southeast of us.  My hubby is taking the class with him, so he takes him, but he is coming from work in Monroe (about an hour south of where we live) so I have to rush home, figure dinner and leave to meet him about 30 minutes south.  Consequently, after my work day is done I can look forward to almost 2 hours in the car (including my commute home).  Then, just like every other day, it feels like a rat race to get everything done to prepare for the next day.


I was on the way home from dropping him off when Betsy started yipping in my ear.  I humored her for a minute, thinking that it sounded good.  But then she started to sound like a sick duck.

This duck is how Betsy sounded.

And I DIDN’T listen to that sick yapper– you know why?

I have a new Garmin fitness watch and it has helped me get up early this week and run/walk before work.  It felt really good to get back on track.  I ran/walked Sun-Mon-Tues so I took the morning of Wednesday off.  So I KNEW I HAD to get up early on Thursday to workout.  That wasn’t going to happen with a wine hangover.  I didn’t WANT a hangover.  I didn’t WANT to turn back my counter.  I didn’t WANT to tune my youngest out and ignore him counting the minutes until his bedtime.  I didn’t WANT to stay up too late and sleep poorly.  So, no Betsy.. sorry, it does NOT sound like a good idea, not at all.

I saw my therapist yesterday and updated her on my progress, including the story above.  She then told me about the Rat Park Study.  It was fascinating to me.


Basically (and I haven’t had a good chance to check all the facts, so I apologize in advance if any of the info below is not accurate), in the study, rats isolated in a small cage with no stimuli chose to drink drugged water consistently over regular water.  Rats in the “Rat Park” (AKA a HUGE cage with other rats, various toys, room for mating, etc) chose regular water over the drugged water.  Interestingly, rats who had been isolated and drinking the drugged water stopped drinking the drugs when moved to the Rat Park, and began drinking the regular water.

I’m a rat and I have the choice.

I can stay in the tiny cage and spend my days drinking the drugs and shutting out others– OR I can live in the Rat Park.  I can get up early to go out into the world, enjoy the peace, expand my lungs, strengthen my muscles and go to sleep satisfied that my dog is happy and exercised.

I can laugh with my kids at night, turn on a good movie, zone and enjoy popcorn and m&m’s OR I can hang out by myself with my drink and my headphones, not feeling anything.

I can rush home early from a family get together– all because I want to drink– and I don’t want to drink and drive, so I sit at home– alone.  OR I can stay as late as I want, holding a conversation because I’m 100% coherent and can drive home just fine.

I can brush my teeth before bed, read my study bible– or romance novel and think deep thoughts & set the alarm early knowing that I will wake up clear headed and refreshed, ready to work my muscles.  OR I can poison myself well into the night and wake up with an awful headache, agonizing general pains all over and enough guilt and shame to fill a 40 yard dumpster– completely and miserable exhausted.

I am so lucky.  I am not a rat in an experiment.  I have the choice and will always have the choice of which cage to spend my days in.  I can escape from life or live life.

Which one will you choose?



Work Stress and Weekend Bliss

Saturday March 3, 2018

It was a tough work week!  All of this happened:

  • I had a tough meeting with an irrational parent (called by me, but completely necessary)
  • After that tough meeting, I had to rush to my union meeting so that I could jot minutes as the secretary.  These meetings are SO long and very repetitive– thinking about stepping down next term
  • Both kids had a short flu.  Thankfully it was short but the vomiting was still stressful, luckily hubby stayed home so I didn’t have to miss any work
  • I acquired my 24th student- and a handful more are scheduled to get assigned to me in the next 4-6 weeks.  23 is my legal limit and my director is likely to get me an assistant for probably an hour a day (just like last spring).  I really need another half time teacher at my building, not an assistant for an hour a day– that is not helpful
  • I had to sub for an afternoon on Wednesday and then got called to sub Friday afternoon also.  I HAD to say no.  I would not get in the minimum hours for my afternoon groups seeing that I already missed a day.  This left me feeling like total crap for most of the evening on Friday for being demanding.
  • Just. Too. Much. responsibility.  I manage the calendar and have to schedule all of the meetings, and reschedule as needed.  I also am expected to manage all of the assistants we have at our school.  We have 6 who are assigned to specific students and I have to manage schedules and logistics when other kids need help.  The 6 aren’t needing to be with their student ALL the time, so this allows them to have sporadic free time throughout the day.  It’s like a constant juggling act and I feel like I’m in a circus most of the time.  Most weeks aren’t bad but there was a lot that came up this week that I had to deal with — feeling all that I have no time to address the issues
  • Winter storm all day Thursday. Luckily the drive home wasn’t too bad.  Unfortunately, we did lose power Thursday night and well into Friday.  I had to get ready Friday morning in the dark and with no running water


To say I was ready for the weekend is a major understatement!  It is Saturday night, and so far it’s been a fabulous low key weekend.

Last night we went to Sam’s Club and then out to dinner.  I was able to get some cleaning done after we got home.

I slept well and woke up clear headed and so thankful for sobriety on Saturday morning.  I chilled in bed with coffee and the hubs.

Scrolling through social media, I found a triathlon in Bay City that sounded super cool.  It isn’t until September, so there is plenty of time to work up my stamina.  It’s called a driathlon because instead of swimming, you canoe with your teammate.   I told the hubz about it and he said, “SURE, sign us up.”  BOY oh boy that totally made my day!  I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon, I am so excited!  I signed us up and named our team Chunky Monkees.  It’s 5K canoeing, 20K bike ride and then a 5K race.  Now I HAVE to keep up on my workouts and strength train.

I’m even more excited to get a new bike for my birthday now!  And I bit the bullet and bought a Garmin today (for my big XMAS present that I never got)– which I’ve been looking at forever and am SO excited for it to come on Monday.  HELLO morning workouts!

That was my fabulous morning.  After all that, I got to work in my bedroom.  I cleaned and organized everything.  All of the shelves littered with jewelry, odds and ends, my books obnoxiously all over the place and my dresser with a mountain of clothes, boxes, and other stuff on top of it.  I dusted and organized, swept and steamed the floors.  I put out my alarm clock that has a natural light that makes me think its light outside when the alarm goes off at 4:50 am.  I’m going to start using that instead of my phone and consciously unplug every night.  I think it will do me some good not to check new work emails when I randomly wake up throughout the night.  I also made room on my nightstand which was piled with a tower of half read books.  I have 1 book on it now and plenty of room leftover.   Lastly, I washed all my bedding.  I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight in my room which is a comforting sanctuary instead of a raging pigsty!



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The bedroom project consumed most of the day.  Other than that I dropped the dog off at daycare for a few hours and went grocery shopping.

Now it’s already after 9:30 and I’m ready to relax with a movie or book in bed.  I am looking forward to another weekend day of getting stuff done.  Hoping to find time for a hike and/or bike ride.  I wasn’t able to get outside at all today– but it was worth it.

Oh, and I haven’t been thinking much about it– but I am on Day 10 today.  As the days come and are crazy as ever, I rarely think about drinking and haven’t had an urge since last weekend.  However, I know that I DO have to keep up on recovery stuff– but don’t mind it when good things in life get in the way once in awhile 😉

Peace and Love ❤


One Small Victory

February 26, 2018

I feel like the last post was a pretty big milestone for me, although seemingly insignificant.

In the past, when Betsy starts talking one of two things will happen.  Either I will think, “NO, not going to happen”, and that’s the end of it. OR, I will think, “NO, that’s not going to happen”, but that’s not the end.  Betsy keeps putting thoughts of drinking into my head and each time, my sane mind starts to find the thought of drinking more and more appealing.  With that, Betsy gets louder and louder until my sane mind says, “FFFF it!  I want to drink so I’m going to gosh darn it– and nobody or nothing is going to stop me!”

I totally thought the latter was going to happen last Saturday.  Betsy kept talking and my sane mind was starting to listen and get persuaded.

Instead of isolating like my norm, I reached out.  I’m in a group chat of sober pals and by reaching out they periodically checked in on me, which I knew they’d do and I really didn’t want to disappoint them by drinking.

I consciously thought and listed out all of the reasons why I didn’t want to drink.  This helped tremendously.  By the time I was done, I was about 80% confident that I had defeated Betsy.  Not 100% because #1 the party store is 3 minutes away and my sane mind can change in a heartbeat and #2 I still needed to go to the grocery store and wasn’t sure if I would be tempted there and jump ship with Betsy.

It turned out to be a great night– SANS the poison!  It was just me and my youngest for most of the night.  We had a nice dinner out, got the grocery shopping done, cleaned up and then watched Because of Winn Dixie (which was such a great movie to watch together). We may have indulged a little on Klondike bars and popcorn with m&m’s  🙂

I was proud to be 100% coherent when hubby and the oldest got home around 10:30.    And I really felt that this was a big step.  Betsy persisted and I used tools to SHUT HER UP.  I will be putting those tools in my back pocket for next time!

It’s now Monday night, the top of Day 5.  No real cravings or urges yesterday and today.  Tomorrow I have a union meeting after work that lasts for like 3 hours.  I may need to pull out those tools!  I’m really looking forward to getting back to double digits. Other than that, I’m not looking too far ahead, basically taking it one day at a time.

Feeling pretty good mentally and physically.  My sinus infection is much better and the weather is getting nicer, I’ve been getting in some walks and sunshine– all good things for my soul.

Peace All ❤



Betsy Wants a Drink

I’ve been doing well since the last relapse.  I dumped my wine and have been a happier person not drinking.

I didn’t crave or have the urge to drink last night, which was Friday night.

Today has been LONG.  I didn’t sleep well last night (I think due to some sinus meds I took close to bedtime– won’t do that again!) and had to be up early for the last God and Me Class with my youngest.

After the class, I spent a few hours cleaning the house which was long overdue.  My youngest helped me while my hubby and oldest worked on painting and cleaning out the laundry room.

Now my mind is going.  Going going going.  And Betsy has begun yapping about how much I deserve some wine.  I don’t have any, but I DO need to run to the grocery store later…


I’m writing in hopes of deterring my desire to drink. After all, each and every time I drink, it does NOT end well, ever.

Here are 10 good reasons why I should not buy wine and drink tonight:

  1.  The first one will be good, but then afterwards I will feel nothing.  It will be hard to focus on anything or hold a conversation.  Do I want to live or do I want to allow the spirits to take over?
  2. I don’t want to wake up and regret anything I did online or in real life.
  3. Worse than the regret, is not remembering if I had anything to regret and having to check my phone and computer to see who I talked to and what I said (which is one of the worst feelings in the world).
  4. I don’t want to wake up at 4am with a pounding head, fast heartbeat, major anxiety and guilt and shame.
  5. I don’t want to disappoint my family.
  6. If I buy it, there will be enough left for 2-3 more nights of drinking– and I will drink every night until it’s gone.  This means days of feeling horrible mentally and physically and then more day 1’s when by next week I can almost be to double digits.
  7. I have someplace to be tomorrow morning and don’t want to look and feel like SH&%.
  8. If I drink I will have such an unproductive day tomorrow– again which will make me mentally feel like crud.
  9. While it might be nice to fantasize about, there is nothing magical about putting poison into the body.
  10. I. Don’t. Want. To.  SO… Betsy, my stupid demonic inner alcoholic voice, I WIN!!!!


Day Drinking

I’ve been dreading this post, but it has to be written.  From the beginning, the most important thing to me was to be honest and transparent.  In the beginning there was a whole lot of ugliness, AKA all of my posts from 2016.  In 2017 things got much better and my posts were mostly positive.  I avoided writing on dark days and tried to keep everything positive.

My last post was from Monday morning and it was entirely positive.  In fact, at the end I stated that “I am feeling incredibly grateful for the day off today, going to get much needed stuff done!  This feeling reminds me that I AM getting out of this funk and that better days are ahead.”   I completed the errands and was accomplishing a lot.  I went to the garage to break up some boxes for recycling.  I had two wine boxes from the past month that were (I thought..) empty.  My plan was to get rid of them and dump the rest of a 5th of whisky I had leftover.  I don’t know what came over me, there was enough wine left for a glass and half and more whiskey than I thought.  It was 1:00 in the afternoon and for some reason, I thought I would drink the rest instead of pouring it out.  I thought drinking it would make me feel worse, and it would be kind of like a good riddance to alcohol.  Only, I finished the drinks and the only thing I wanted was more.  So I drove to the store and bought a box of wine.  I kept drinking.  I made dinner (improperly, I might add.  I forgot some KEY ingredients to the taco salad, AKA chips and cheese).  I passed out immediately after dinner, day drinking is exhausting!  I woke up around 10:00 and after searching the house I found my family in the basement watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  I watched and cuddled with them, contemplating whether or not I should refill my wine glass (I did not).

The guilt and shame I woke up with was unbearable.  I felt anxious and my body ached.

This is an example on how a moment can change in a heartbeat.

Currently taking it sober, one moment at a time.

Trying to learn from my mistakes and avoid making them again.

Peace all ❤


Monday Musings

It is a relaxing Monday morning, on this President’s Day.  The kids and I are off today and tomorrow for Mid-Winter break.  I don’t have a lot to say, but thought it would do me some good to put down some thoughts.

I’m still feeling rather funky.  I wasn’t good about working out, meditating or eating well last week, so it’s no surprise.  This is the thing I can’t stand about myself lately.  I lack follow through, with everything.  I’ve talked to my therapist about it numerous times and she feels that as I work at decreasing anxiety and increasing sobriety, the focus will naturally come.  I will trust the process, as I have no other choice, although I’m beginning to wonder if medication would be a good option.

On Wednesday, a young man went into his high school and shot and killed 17 students and teachers.  This definitely affected my mood for several days.  Maybe it would be different if I didn’t work at a school– or if many of the victims were age 14–the same age as my son.  I drove to work last week thinking that school shootings are so common now, schools are psycho killer magnets, not a comforting thought since my kids and I spend all day everyday at 3 different schools.

Since the shooting, we are required to keep our classroom doors locked– a daily reminder of the sad world today.   Staff meetings consist of building safety concerns, not student growth.  I won’t go into a political rant, other than to say that we need better help for those with mental illnesses (I’ve had parents who needed their child hospitalized– turned away and sent home because there wasn’t a bed available) and tougher gun control.


I miss the days when lockdown drills seemed so unnecessary and silly.  In today’s world,  they are crucial.

Nevertheless, as time goes by and the bad thoughts go away and the procedural stuff dies down, life will return to normal and good.

We did have a fun night last night.  We went to Painting with a Twist and painted our pets!   It was a great 3 hour session.  Hubby was worried that he would be the only guy there, but there were several and it was a great group of people!  It was good quality time spent together and the paintings turned out ok 🙂


One more thing I want to talk about before ending this.  I now have a treatment plan with my therapist and we set some goals.

Goal #1 — Avoid mind altering substances 100% of the time (including alcohol and sugar) Objective 1– Get a sponsor and work on the 12 steps.  Objective 2 (I can’t remember)

Goal #2– Reduce anxiety by 90%   Objective 1–Go on an outing once a week with someone other than hubby.  Objective 2– I can’t remember– I think it may have to do with meditation and exercise.

I wanted to write these down because as you can see I’ve already forgotten a couple of the pieces.

OK– that’s all I’ve got.  I have to go run errands this morning.  I am feeling incredibly grateful for the day off today, going to get much needed stuff done!  This feeling reminds me that I AM getting out of this funk and that better days are ahead ❤



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day from hell, from well before sun up to long after sun down.  OK, none of my family was involved in a major accident AND we are still alive, so it wasn’t THAT bad…  plus, we didn’t get fired from our jobs today, which is another bonus (maybe?).

Here’s the day in nutshell:

–Woke up super groggy–probably due taking the 24 hour antihistamine before bed in hopes of clearing up some of my mucous (after 4 weeks this damn cold is going strong)

–Teenager woke up super groggy also and was moving slower than sludge.  ZERO sense of urgency when I tell him we have 15 minutes and he wants to spend 12 minutes eating cereal

–Finally left the house– about 7 minutes later than planned, thanks to having to change my shirt to accommodate a recent weight gain and my slow teenager

–Sat in traffic for a LONG time because they closed lanes to fix potholes during rush hour, got to work 30 minutes later than usual– had to hustle to get ready for the morning groups

–2 minutes before the bell rang I got called to sub for a 4th grade classroom.  All. Day. Long.  Any work that I had planned on accomplishing today would have to be put off.  This gave me exactly 45 seconds to review the sub plans before the bell rang

— Lunchtime consisted of being on hold, getting transferred to different people and yelling at the medical supply company for the second day in a row.  I just want TEST STRIPS for my diabetic son.  I’m not asking for psychedelic drugs.  I don’t know why it’s been 10 days and they STILL haven’t been able to obtain an Rx from his endocrinologist.  I had to yell, beg and beg.. by this point he is almost out, and it’s kind of important for him to test his blood sugar multiple times a day..

–Rushed home, marathon made lunches, supervised homework, took care of animals, etc in time to leave for the God and Me Scout class with my youngest

–Traffic… again…  Lots and lots….

–The class was ok.  I enjoy it but the teacher and her son are very annoying.  That sounds SO mean.  He constantly interrupts her and appears to TRY to test her limits and she is overly fake nice. It was just me and Will and her and him tonight.  It’ll be better next time with another boy and mom–but it was exhausting watching this mom and son mentally battle each other during the whole class

–Stopped at BK on the way home.  STUFFED my face.  Oh yeah, and today is fat Tuesday and a coworker always brings Paczkis straight from Hamtramck.  Wasn’t planning on indulging, but after getting called to 4th grade I had 1/2 while they were in music.   Feeling fat on this fat Tuesday 😦

Finally got home at 8 pm.  Thank God tomorrow is a new day!

Today is my late mom’s birthday.  If there is any lemonade to be made from today’s lemons, then maybe it’s the fact that I had zero time to think and be sad about her today.

Last year on this day, it was my 3rd sober day.  My FIRST 3rd sober day in like 10 years.  When hubby got home, I was in the kitchen making dinner.  I had some wine left in the garage and wanted it SO badly, it hurt.  In fact, when he got home, he hugged me and I started to sob.  He held me tighter and he didn’t question it.  He thought I was crying because it was my mom’s birthday.  I had to tell him that I was upset because I wanted some wine SO bad.  He talked me out of it and we went for a walk.  I will never forget that day– it was such a sad thing to me (that I was crying over WINE and not my mom..)

That was my first attempt at sobriety and it lasted for 93 days.  I read a quote tonight that pretty much sums up the past year:

“When you start doubting yourself, remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”  — unknown


So as I say goodbye to this annoying AF day, I am happy to acknowledge how far I’ve come.  I mean come on, after a day like today I am not crying about not drinking.  I’m feeling the annoyances of the day and hoping for a better tomorrow, without the hangover ❤

Rest in Heaven mama ❤ ❤




Stuck in a Funk

Just wanted to write a quick update.

Still feeling pretty pissy, despite efforts of a productive weekend restoring my mind-body-spirit.

Had a great workout Friday and today (Sunday).  This is big because I’ve felt too down the past couple of weeks to even start moving.  Working out always helps my mood/anxiety– still waiting for the rewards to kick in.

Meditated in the bath on Friday and again while working out today.   Bathtub meditation was fine (5 minutes) and I presume as productive as your typical meditation session.  Elliptical meditation seems counterproductive, but I have to say that I was able to focus better than ever while meditating (pretty much the entire 10 minutes– except for a couple seconds checking the clock to see if I should switch directions).  Not sure that I’m seeing any benefits from meditation yet– but it can’t be hurting anything.

Had an extremely productive yesterday.  A big part of our basement has been filled with STUFF since we moved in 3 1/2 years ago.  Stuff that is miscellaneous, AKA junk.  We spent a good portion of Saturday going through the stuff.  I had like 6 tubs of school stuff that I was hanging onto and it was taking up a ton of room.  I went through and kept about 5% of it — all of which I will take to my room at school.  All in all, we unloaded a huge amount of stuff at the Salvation Army Saturday night.  Then we did the grocery shopping.  Still went to bed totally crabby and hating life.

Had an interesting day today.  We went to a fundraiser to honor my uncle and his recovery (he was hit by a car January 4th and suffered severe head trauma).  It was so crazy busy!!  Saw some family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was at a bar and everyone was drinking.  I enjoyed my free diet cokes.  It was nice to connect with friends and family and I was grateful that I wasn’t part of the Sunday afternoon drinking club (I’ve already consumed a lifetime of Sunday afternoon drinks in my 40 years of life).

Diet hasn’t been spectacular this weekend— but I have been taking my vitamins and I’m excited about food for tomorrow.  I have a sweet potato for breakfast, spinach lasagna for lunch (with lots of spinach!) and grapes and carrots for a snack (and a couple other low calorie treats).  I haven’t packed this much whole foods in a long time.  Maybe that’ll help my mood.  I sure hope so!

Honestly, with my crabby mood, I’m thinking hubby (who poured out all of my wine a couple weeks ago..) is about to come home and syphon wine down my throat. OK– joking– that’s not going to happen.  BUT.. I don’t want to be the crabby old lady forever!

I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of making health improvements.  I’m hopeful that if I keep it up then I will eventually get out of this funk.  Wish me good luck, please!  🙂 ❤



Kicking Negativity to the Curb

It is Friday morning and we are getting hit with A LOT of snow.  Therefore, my entire family is home.  They closed the kids’ and my school district and hubby is working from home.


This was a very happy snow day because they called it the evening before– so all alarm clocks were turned off and we relished the thought of a three day weekend.

Only, as I stood in the kitchen making dinner, I didn’t feel happy.  Do you know that nagging thought in the back of your head when something is bugging you greatly or when something has gone wrong?  I had that thought & it overshadowed any joyful thoughts.  I consciously wondered why I felt like that– nothing major is going wrong in my life– maybe just an accumulation of small things.

For instance, I’m in a situation at work where I have to have an uncomfortable conversation with another adult.  I’m not looking forward to it and have been putting it off all week.  It’s something that I really shouldn’t have to deal with, but my principal is slightly lackadaisical, so some of these issues fall on my shoulders– at least if I want them to get resolved.  Now I’ve put it off another day and will have to anticipate it going into a new week.

There are a few other things going on, similar to this but not work related.  I won’t bore you with details– they’re nothing major– just little things that create stress.  They should get resolved soon but I don’t have control over them and that itself is creating stressful feelings.

There in the kitchen, as I thought more deeply about these things that are bugging me, I gave myself a pep talk.  That did help my mindset.

I fell asleep ok, but woke up around 3 am and my mind was running.  My body was exhausted due to a month long cold/virus I’ve been fighting and some insomnia this week– but my mind was wide open.  Sometime in those early insomniac hours I realized what my big problem is: Mind. Body. Spirit.

Folks in recovery talk about the healing of the mind, body and spirit and how each is essential to overcome addiction and to live a happy life.  I couldn’t agree more and usually do conscious and unconscious routines and rituals that support each of these areas.  I realized that my mind, body and spirit were all in a state of negativity and distress– all three of them, and all at once.   No WONDER I’ve been in a state of negativity– not just while making dinner– but for the past 2 weeks.

This cold/virus that has limited my energy, lack of exercise, not walking outside (due to the weather and my cold), not sleeping well (lack of exercise and not feeling well), not going to my 12 step meeting (due to family conflicts that were unavoidable), dark and dreary weather, cold and itchy skin, lack of fresh fruits and vegetables (produce choices have been awful at the store so I’ve been buying and eating less of the good stuff), work stress, and feeling disconnected with certain family members have all contributed to this state I’m in.  And as I write this out, it is CLEAR how the mind-body-spirit health is ALL connected.

Now it’s time to kick negativity to the curb!

I researched this morning to find out how to grow and strengthen each area.  This is what I NEED to do:

  1.  Exercise.  I’ve always known that this keeps me sane.  I have to accept the fact that if I can’t run outside with my dog, I can still do a 20 minute treadmill walk/run and/or yoga routine.  I HATE doing the treadmill because my pup just looks at me sadly the whole time and I feel like I’m betraying him.  I will try to get out for a walk as soon as possible (when they clear the street after this storm) because there is great value for me to be outside.
  2. Meditate.  I’ve failed at this many times.  Each time I vow to spend even just 5 minutes per day, there just doesn’t seem to be time.  I will make time–even if just 5 minutes!
  3. Diet.  As spring gets closer, the produce will get better and it will be easier to eat whole foods.  Until then, I will either get produce from a specialty store if I have the time or buy frozen if not.  I NEED to get more produce into my diet– or at least start juicing again to get some of those nutrients.
  4. Vitamins.  I will continue to be sure to take my daily regimen of vitamins and supplements.
  5. Meditative Writing.  I just learned about this while researching this morning.  This sounds like a fascinating idea to me.  I think it will be beneficial and therapeutic– especially if it helps to get some of the negative thoughts out!
  6. Spirituality.  I don’t plan on missing any of the 12 step meetings in the near future.  Missing two in a row was hard.  This meeting and discussion helps my spirit grow.  In addition to this, we have two Scout Sundays coming up in February (at different churches) and my youngest and I have a “God and Me” scout class for the month of February.  I don’t attend church regularly, but am excited for all of these religious events this month.  I would eventually like to find a church to call home.
  7. Build Connections.  I need to make more time for family and friends.  I DO have some events coming up with family and friends to look forward to.  I need to make sure to continue making plans after this busy month.

I think that this is a pretty comprehensive list.   I don’t want to make a schedule or regimen because I lack follow through.  What I want to do is to journal each night with reflective thoughts of things that I did that day to strengthen myself and things that I plan on doing the next day– or anything differently I would do the next day, etc.

Notice that all of these things are written in the DO form.  There is nothing that I can’t do when implementing this plan.  I am simply adding practices to my life– not taking away anything.

I am confident that the more practice and habits that come out of this will cause the negativity energy to get pushed out and more positivity will get pulled in.

I am ready for a healthier– and therefore happier journey ❤

What are your go-to activities when you feel like you need more positivity in your life?

Update:  Right after writing this I began to make breakfast.  Immediately I felt lighter & happier.  My clothes even seemed looser 🤔.  The power of the mind is an amazing thing & just mapping out a plan for change had a positive effect 💜

For more information on improving body, mind and soul health, visit:





Two Against One

Saturday February 3, 2018

This has been a gross week– all of it.  On Monday I was looking forward to my women’s twelve step book study group after work.  As I was getting ready to leave, I found out via hubby’s text that it was our son’s Court of Honor at his scout meeting that night and I was going to be given a pin (so there was no way getting out of it).

I was bummed, this meant I would have to miss my weekly meeting.  I don’t always deal well with the unexpected, I am a planner– and this was definitely unexpected.  The scout events had been on our family’s Google calendar, but I had recently deleted all of the events off of my calendar because my boss let me know that he could see my events. (I am still trying to figure out how to keep my family and my work calendar completely separate– Google is not always a friend of mine!).

SO…  I got home, did chores like a crazy person (because going to scouts meant I’d be gone for most of the evening) and took my laptop so that I could get some work done during downtime there.

On a positive note, it was a very nice ceremony and I ended up getting all of my work done while there 🙂

During the drive home, Betsy started yapping at me– straight out of nowhere.  I’m not sure if it was partially because I missed my meeting and/or just stress of having to change plans at the last minute– but she was ON it.  I would have totally stopped if I didn’t have my whole family in the car.

Tuesday was fine and Betsy kept quiet.  The urges from Monday were gone!

On Wednesday, it was another busy evening.  My oldest had a swim test and lifeguard lessons at a school an hour away.  I had to rush home from work in order to meet my hubby in time to get him there.   On the way back, I stopped for a quick dinner with my youngest.  Betsy started her nagging again.  Wine sounded good.  The whole time we ate dinner and during the ride home it was a tough mental battle.  I was determined not to stop for wine with my kid!

We got home– where I thought I was safe because I was home for the night.  I finished my chores before 8:00 and the mental battle was still going on.  Finally I said F-it!  Loaded the little into the car and drove to CVS and picked up a box of wine.

I didn’t even want to drink.  I kept telling myself that it didn’t even sound good and I didn’t want to wake up with a hangover, but the mental battle was too much.

On Thursday, I saw my therapist.  I was 100% honest about my week, drinking and my thoughts.  I told her that I would drink every night until the point of passing out and that it would last until the box of wine was gone (about 3-4 nights).  She was empathetic and told me that many people who stop drinking DO go through periods of drinking and sobriety in the beginning.  My mind heard that I had her blessing to keep drinking that box of wine, so Thursday night I drank again.

These nights of drinking were not great nights.  The wine tasted bad and I isolated from my family.  Both nights I didn’t even really want to drink, but it did keep my mind quiet.

On Friday at work I considered not drinking.  I thought I could take a break and just let the box be halfway full for a night or two.  I gave myself a list of reasons why my Friday night would be so much better if I didn’t drink.   By the evening hours, Betsy wasn’t going to let that happen.  I gave in, thinking that I would be done with the box soon and could accomplish another sober stretch.

I went out to get some wine and my box was turned backwards.  I thought that was weird.  I picked it up, expecting it to be half full, but it was empty!  WTF– did I drink THAT much the night before?  Then I noticed a note on the front.  It said “I love you! ❤ ❤ ❤  What should we do tonight?”


My hubby always complains that when I drink, he loses me.   He is right.  And you might think that this situation made me really mad.  It didn’t.  I felt happy.  I suppose if I had REALLY wanted to drink (and like I said early, I didn’t but was just giving in to that voice), I would have been upset and probably would have driven up to the store to get more alcohol.  I don’t remember Thursday night, but am guessing that I had a conversation with him telling him how miserable I was drinking– but HAD to finish the box..

Well, I thought.  I guess I’m not drinking tonight.  I sat next to him on the couch after that, and told him he had better shut off his computer and give me some attention, lol.

For the longest time, I have been fighting this alone.   Talking to people at meetings is great, but they aren’t there when I’m at home and a mental battle is going on in my head.  It’s like I have two voices– me and then Betsy, my inner alcoholic voice.  For the first time ever, I felt like it was US against Betsy– two against one.  It was an uplifting and empowering realization.  My hubby is a normal drinker and I spilled my guts to him via my blog last month.

He listened.

That was part I of Friday night.  Part II was really weird and felt like a sign.

We were chilling in the living room when we heard loud meows.  It sounded like one of our cats, so we were looking all over to see if he was ok.   We discovered a black cat on our porch.  The weather has recently gotten really cold and I had never seen this cat before.  I went out and he was shy but came to be when I called him.  He wasn’t even close to being a feral cat– he was extremely affectionate.  Surely I couldn’t leave him outside to freeze!

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I locked my animals in a room and let him inside.  I offered him some food and he gobbled it up– all of it.  He was cold and starving!  Knowing he needed shelter for the night, I set him up in my oldest son’s bedroom with food, water and a litter box.  He was a little ancy when we went to bed, but settled down and was snuggling with my son in bed.

Around 4 :00 am, this cat (Sylvester– the boys had started calling him) got REALLY wild.  He was clawing at the shades trying to get out.

I let him outside– hating myself for it.  Knowing that he would probably be lost in the cold.  I watched for him and listened for his meows– all morning and all day long.  He hasn’t come back.

So, it’s been a sad Saturday leaving me wondering why this cat came into our lives and then left so quickly.  It felt like a sign last night that he found us– but now what does it even mean?  He reminded me of my childhood cat, all black and affectionate with scabby ears.  Was he a sign, sent from someone?

I wonder too much about the WHY.  I used to question my journey with alcohol and how it relates to my life constantly– trying to find the purpose.  One late night, I was in a meditation prayer.  I received a message, I believe from Him that was very clear.

“It’s not your job to wonder why.  Just trust.  Trust.”

That message DID help me not worry so much about the why and just trust the path.

I am trying to do the same thing with Sylvester.  Maybe it was just by chance he wandered onto our porch.  I have to trust that I did what I could and that’s all I can do.

I hope you find your way, precious little kitty soul ❤